Today’s big investment story was Softbank Capital’s additional funding for early-stage startups in New York City. The Big Apple is an exciting and growing tech scene and thus it seemed fitting to dedicate today’s funding roundup to a fearless group that, like New York VCs and entrepreneurs, are dedicated to helping New York achieve its full potential — the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. They are named after artists, they love pizza, and they fight crime using ninja skills.
What’s not to love?
Softbank Capital raises $51M to invest in early-stage NYC startups
Softbank Capital announced today that it has raised an additional $51 million for early-stage investments in NYC startups. The firm is the investment arm of Japanese telecommunications giant SoftBank, which is amid a bidding war for Sprint. If the Sprint deal goes through, we may see SoftBank play an even bigger role in the U.S. technology world. Softbank Capital currently has 32 active investments in New York City, including Buzzfeed, Gilt Group, Huffington Post, Buddy Media, and Betaworks. Read more on VentureBeat.
Visier gets $15M to bring your boss a hot, steaming cup of analytics
Workforce analytics company Visier has just raised a $15 million round of funding. Visier makes software for the oversight and management of “human capital” for “people that have a need to know.” The app crunches HR data for enterprise workers into a consumer-friendly interface designed to make measuring, reporting on, and improving the activities of a given workplace easier, faster, and more accurate. This cash infusion is the startup’s second institutional round; it was led by growth equity investor Summit Partners, with participation from repeat investor Foundation Capital. Read more on VentureBeat.
Google pumps $12M into African solar energy project
In its bajillionth green energy investment, Google has targeted the Jasper Power Project, a South African solar plant. The investment totals $12 million and marks the search company’s first investment in Africa. This sum is part of a larger $260 million round including investors such as SolarReserve, a U.S. solar power developer; Intikon Energy, a South African renewable energy developer; and the Kensani Group, a South African empowerment investment firm. Read more on VentureBeat.
Beautylish dabs on $6.5M to grow a community that really (really) loves cosmetics
Beautylish is using mascara wands and lipstick tubes to attract the attention of investors. According to an SEC filing, the online beauty company has closed $6.5 million of a $8.64 million round. Beautylish is an online community of beauty enthusiasts. Members of the community post reviews and articles, share video tutorials and photos, and pose questions to others to generate dialogue about beauty products and brands. There is also an e-commerce component where brands can sell their wares to members in a virtual boutique. This first round was led by CMEA Ventures. Ron Conway, Steve Chen, and Jeremy Stoppelman are previous investors. Read more on VentureBeat.
Captricity raises $4.5M to turn handwritten documents into structured data
Captricity has disclosed a $4.5 million round of funding led by Chamath Palihapitiya’s Social+Capital Partnership. Captricity quickly and easily turns paper information into structured, digital data using data capture technology. The system is self-serve and geared toward organizations that are low on resources and need a better solution to manage their paperwork. This is Captricity’s first round of institutional funding. It previously raised money from The Knight Foundation Enterprise Fund for media innovations, Atlas Ventures, Founders Fund, Greylock Partners, and Kapor Capital. Read more on VentureBeat.
Qriously raises $3.5M for hyper-accurate “askvertising”
Polling platform Qriously has just grabbed itself a nice $3.5 million sack o’ change from Spark Capital and Accel Partners for its own special brand of mobile ads called “asQvertising.” AsQvertising can be used for research or for marketing. For research purposes, users get to see the results of the minipoll, and researchers get location data on poll results. For marketing, users get sorted into virtual bins: Serve the ad and Don’t serve the ad. And of course, Qriously gives marketers analytics on the poll results. Today’s announced funding is Qriously’s first institutional round. The startup was founded in 2010 and has headquarters in New York and London with outposts in Atlanta and Vienna. Read more on VentureBeat.
Dering Hall raises $1.4M to showcase the best of home design
Interior design startup Dering Hall has closed $1.4 million in financing to grow its platform, which includes products, design portfolios, a designer director, and other content for design inspiration and ideas. The marketplace brings to designers together with architects, artisans, and and design galleries to showcase and sell their work to consumers. Lerer Ventures, Softbank Capital, and Hearst Corporation participating in this seed round.
Weotta raises money to help you have more fun
Weotta has closed a new round of funding, according to a report in TechCrunch. Weotta is an activity-planning app that offers up potential locations and activities for users to save or remove. The app learns your preferences and presents you with recommended activities. You can slo filter recommendations and book through the app. This round of funding was led by Google Ventures with participations from Slow Ventures and TenOneTen Capital. Weotta also released a new version of its iPhone app today the makes it more social.